October 12, 2009
A new report from America’s Health Insurance Plans says the bill pending before the Senate Finance Committee will cause health care costs to rise higher and faster than under the current system.
The report from PricewaterhouseCoopers states that “the proposal ‘will increase premiums above what they would increase under the current system for both individual and family coverage in all four market segments from 2010-2019,'” said a memo from Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of AHIP.
This report comes on the eve of a critical vote that some insiders say will ultimately drive a dagger into the heart of the insurance industries profit margins.
The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to vote soon on its proposed overhaul which if successful would be forwarded to the full Senate and House for their vote after first ironing out any differences in the final bill that might crop up.
In my opinion, the 286 page health bill represents a hodgepodge, hammered together compromise that is sure to earn the eventual ire of many US citizens… should it pass. I’m not positive it will since I cannot seem to find a readily available text copy to inspect. I was a able to download HR 3200, the original bill that is 1,017 pages long and must admit that reading it is a rather daunting process. (I am sure, however, that each member of congress can cite chapter and version of the current piece of legislation should you ask them).
I guess my problem with all complex and contrived legislation is the fact that there are too many legal nooks and crannies for stuff to be hidden in. The tax code forour current system of taxation runs about 44,000 pages. No one living that I know of has read this cover to cover. (That would require reading 5.5 million words and lingering over 721 different forms to accomplish).
Ladies and gentlemen, we desperately need some real legislative reform and we need it now! Just as there have been a number of very good proposals for a flat tax system (which is just a few pages long), so then does it make some sense to come up with a flat health insurance rate that would treat all the citizens of the United States in a fair and equitable manner. A comprehensive but simple system (read this as few pages) that would be fair not only to those who get sick but to the institutions (government or otherwise) that support them. Corporate insurance companies of today are, in reality, nothing more than very large betting parlors with each insured person betting they will stay healthy while the corporation is betting they will not. The problem is that the odds are shaded very much in the insurers favor (see the latest P&L statement of almost any insurance company). Let’s get Health Care out of the betting parlor and into the light of day. The costs are enormous and the stakes extremely high. Way too high to be treated in this manner, by a government and or body of corporate insurance entities who seem more interested in their continued preservation over that of the average American.
OK, I’ve vented enough for today. I’m sure Obama and his chums will make everything swell soon. Maybe he can even propose some additional legislation to cover the legislation that’s not currently going anywhere! Hey how about that Energy Bill? Or how about another oversight committee or Czar! That should take care of everything! Just don’t bet on it…